December 6, 2022
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Readers respond: The high cost of expensive health care

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As the midterm elections approach, I have seen more stories about Congress working to bring down drug prices. I hope this is more than just politics and that we may see some action that helps lower all health care costs, not just drug prices. I recently switched jobs, which means I switched primary insurance providers. I have a chronic illness and take biologic treatments to manage the disease. While the previous carrier had no problems covering the treatments, the new carrier rejected coverage, saying it was too experimental for my condition. This is simply false. I have been taking this medication for years as prescribed by my doctor, an expert in the field who I trust to have a better grasp on best treatment practices than an insurance company.

After hours of my time speaking with my insurance carrier, the decision was reversed. However, by the time approval came, my treatment had been delayed by several weeks. That delay has caused my condition to flare, and my health has still not recovered. Furthermore, recent routine lab work that I had done was not picked up by my insurance, leaving me on the hook for hundreds of dollars. As our elected leaders look for ways to expand access to affordable health care, they must take a look at insurance industry practices. Reducing the cost of cutting-edge prescription drugs will not make much of an impact if the insurance industry will continue to find ways to not cover those treatments.

Elizabeth Cochran, Portland



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